2 Blondes and a Ginger

2 Blondes and a Ginger

Friday, December 25, 2009

Graham's Story Part III

I realize that some people will be bored by these Graham stories, but I'm writing this down so I don't forget. I don't want to forget the days leading up to Graham's arrival, and I don't want to forget God's faithfulness. The Israelites put up stones as a memorial to reflect on God's deliverance and faithfulness. These blog entries are in a way, my stones. I want to look back years from now and say, see here....God was faithful,God is faithful. So read if you want, or don't read. These Graham stories are for me!

On Christmas Day a year ago, I scanned the hospital menu for breakfast casserole and frozen fruit. Unfortunately they didn't have my mother as the cook, so I settled on something else and ordered hot chocolate. Hot chocolate will make any meal feel a little more Christmasy. I wouldn't recommend Christmas in the hospital, but everyone around me made it bearable. The nurses brought in a small tree with Christmas ornaments that some children made, and my mom bought a huge tree that she decked out with lights and glittery ornaments. We had delicious food on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there were presents galore, I was surrounded by family, and I was still pregnant. On Christmas evening, I went on my wheel chair ride (I was allowed one a day) and Jeff brought Steve up to the hospital for a visit. He stayed outside of course. And that concluded Christmas Day. It was definitely a weird Christmas, and I somewhat felt like I just skipped Christmas last year. I still had gingerbread dough in my freezer this year that I bought just before I went into the hospital. I baked the gingerbread cookies and it was like picking up where I left off last year...only this year there was a baby crawling around my feet.
Christmas passed and New Years too and still I was pregnant. Jeff and I met with the neonatologist and felt a little more at ease after discussing what was in store for Graham. One thing was sure- every week I remained pregnant reduced the risk of complications.
I learned how to hook myself up to the monitors and the nurses joked that they were going to start letting me do paperwork for them. I didn't really bother them. I could do everything myself, and for the most part, I felt fine. The only time I usually called the nurses was when I needed my Ambien at night. Boy was I thankful for Ambien during my hospital stay! I'd never used it before and haven't used it since, but it helped me snooze on those nights that could have been sleepless.
Around 5:00-6:00 every morning, a phlebotomist came to draw blood and my doctor came to check on me once or twice a day. I remained stable.
One day I asked my doctor if I could go see a movie for a couple of hours. I was feeling fine, and my blood pressure was under control. He consulted with the higher-ups and they would not allow it. It was a liability issue. I understood, but I just wanted to get away from that hospital for a little while. I really wanted to go home for a few minutes and take a bath, but that would have to wait for a while! And so life went on in the hospital. I was restless at times and there were days that were harder than others, but for the most part I was content. I couldn't do things that required a lot of thought. I had books to read, but I couldn't read them. I tried to learn to crochet, but that was short lived. For the most part I read magazines and watched HGTV. I guess thinking too hard would force me to reflect more seriously on my state and the possibility of complications with Graham's arrival.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Graham's Story Part II

A year ago I went to the doctor's office. My blood pressure was high. It hadn't been high since my doctor had taken me off work. I was also leaking some protein. My doctor told me I was going to spend 24 hours in the hospital while they ran some tests and monitored Graham. My first thought was "great, last time I missed my baby shower and this time I'm missing our anniversary/babymoon at a bed and breakfast in Chattanooga. Did I really have to go to the hospital?" I was a little upset, but I knew the routine. I had already been to labor and delivery a month earlier. I talked to a lady in the waiting room who was sent to the hospital by the same doctor's office. She was 27 weeks pregnant and I was 31 weeks. Little did we know that we'd both be spending a lot of time in the hospital.
My doctor came to see me that night and told me I was probably going to be released the next day and put on bed rest. I couldn't imagine being on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. TORTURE! But the tests didn't come back as we expected. The on call doctor for the weekend consulted with a maternal-fetal specialist in Nashville. He advised that I would be in the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Then he told me that they thought I would have a baby by the end of the week. It was way too much information at one time. At first I was dreading the thought of being in the hospital for months, but then I was terrified to find I would be having a baby so early. What would that mean for the future health and development of little Graham? Baby's aren't supposed to be born at 31 weeks.
That night the lady I met in the waiting room had her baby at 27 weeks, and that night I braced myself for an early delivery as well. No one expected I would still be in a hospital bed 6 weeks later.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Invisible Hula Hoooooop!

Who new that a baby could be such a great incentive to exercise? Exercising around Graham is so easy because frankly, he thinks it is hysterical. Sometimes I wish I was in front of a mirror so I could see what I do that is just so funny. One of the exercises I do around the home is the Invisible Hula Hoop. In case you were about to google it, yes, I made it up. There's this hula hoop craze right now. You can sign up in the trendy areas of town for hula hoop classes. So, in an attempt to be a hip mom and to slenderize these hips of mine, I too partake in the hula hoop class. The only difference is that I do it by myself with Graham as my audience and I don't have a hula hoop. I didn't really want to go buy a hula hoop, and plus, where am I going to keep that thing? So, I started thinking that I could get the same benefits without the actual hula hoop. I just imagine that I have a hula hoop around my waist. I move in one direction, then I move in another, all the while shouting aloud to Graham, "The invisible hula hooooooop!" He is sure to smile.

Then, I'll do a few lunges, and he cracks up every time I go down and up. Yesterday I caught him rocking back and forth to the rhythm of me doing push ups, and whenever I plop him on my stomach and do crunches, you would think someone has just given him a dose of laughing gas, and I mean laughing gas that really makes you laugh. Who in the world wouldn't want to exercise, if it made a baby laugh so much? So watch out! One day I may just be on TV advertising a DVD series called "Exercise is no Maybe When You're Doing it with a Baby- A Surefire Way to Get Moms Moving Again." Please call now and I'll throw in an extra 2 invisible hula hoops...for free!

The Best Accessory Ever

No, it's not those pair of earrings Jeff got me from Anastasia's, that headband that's my crutch when my hair is oh so greasy, or that Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag I just had to have. My best accessory ever has 3.5 teeth, the cutest grin, and has just developed the skills to shake his head "no."

I walked into the Ladies' Church Brunch on Saturday and several people commented that it was strange to see me without a baby on my hip. I admit, I felt a little naked myself. That's why I swiped the three month old who was sitting in his baby carrier as soon as he showed the first signs of getting fussy. I'm like the awkward girl in speech class who just doesn't know what to do with her hands. I need a baby to fill that void. Okay, Okay, it's not that bad. I really can enjoy myself when I have a break from Graham, but it does leave me feeling a little bare. With a baby, you can talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to, you can talk to yourself at the grocery and people assume your engaging in interactive conversation with your child when in reality you're trying to decide beef or chicken, you can have someone to laugh with if you trip or stumble (we all know it's a lot less awkward when someone else is there to talk to about it), or you can just go to a restaurant by yourself...because you're not really by yourself- you've got a baby with you! Speaking of dining at a restaurant, it sometimes bothers me that they consider a child in a high chair 1/2 of a person. I say, "We need 2 and a high chair." They reply back, "Okay, Jen, party of 2 and a half." For your information, my baby is a whole person. He's got two legs, 2 arms, and I bet he would beat you in a crawling race.
But anyway, Graham is the most adorable accessory. I do not mean to diminish the person he really is because he is so much more than an accessory, but still it's nice to have someone so precious on your hip at almost all times. While I was Grahamless at the brunch, Jeff took Graham and Steve to the vet. There aren't many doctors here in Tennessee, so our local vet looks Graham over for his well baby checkups. Okay, Okay, I'm sorry. That's ridiculous. But, yes, Steve needed to go to the vet, and Jeff had to take Graham with him. I tried to give Jeff a few pointers because I knew he would have his hands full. "Just go ahead and put your credit card in your pocket. Then it will be easier to pay when you have Graham in one hand and Steve in the other." He smiled and thanked me for the advice. For some reason I don't think he really needed it. Afterwards, he said everything went smoothly. If that had been me, either Graham would have been attacked by Spike because I set him down on the floor next to a ferocious dog, or Steve would have run far far away. I don't know why these things happen to me and not to Jeff. I am the mom. I am supposed to have the natural ability to multi-task. But it is always me who gets into trouble. Like last week when the doorbell rang. The mail woman was at the door with a box and some letters. I was holding Graham, trying to hold back Steve, and trying to open the door. Something has got to give. So, I set Graham down, knocked the wreath off my door, and dropped the mail in the process. She'll probably start forwarding my mail to the insane asylum.
The best accessory ever may bring out my clumsiness, but I'll take it. I love him, and it's nice to have a little company everywhere I go.